IUMA: The Twirpentines
It all started in the summer of 1997. The Twirpentines began as a three-piece garage band; Fred Oakman on Guitar, vocals, and lyrics, Keith Tagliaferri on Drums, and Andy Maxiener on Bass. The boys were influenced and inspired by the growing "punk" scene in their hometown of Meadville, Pennsylvania. Bands such as Montgomery Burns, Jerkwater, Davenport and Plow United shaped the early sounds that the trio strove to capture. In only a few months, things were moving quickly to further the band's reputation. These beginning months were tightly filled with playing shows at various venues around the city. A short time later, Greg Knowles recorded a demo tape in Fred's basement in June of 1997. As word spread of Meadville's newest sound, The Twirpentines were invited to play shows with bands such as Dillinger Four, American Steel, The Party of Helicopters, River City High, Grieving Eucalyptus, Pressgang, The Juliana Theory, Bobby Kork, and the 1985. The Twirpentines accepted a second guitarist when this friend, Jon Smith, began playing along during the practice sessions. The addition of a second guitarist offered a fuller sound and various opportunities for musical growth. The band continued writing and composing new material and making frequent appearances at local venues. With the sales of the demo tape continuing and with the funds accumulated from playing shows, eventually the band had enough money to record and release a self-titled seven-inch record. At Hidden Music Studios in Dayton Ohio, The Twirpentines cut eight songs to be featured on their record and various compilations. However, before the seven-inch could be released, bassist Andy Maxiener left the band to pursue his love for hockey. The three remaining members, dedicated to their music, refused to slow their pace at the sight of resistance and continued full steam, playing for several months with stand in bassists. Fred approached a high school acquaintance, Kyle Collier, with the opportunity to play with the band. Kyle accepted and brought a renewed excitement within the band. At last, with Kyle on bass, The Twirpentines found stability and once again functioned comfortably as a four-piece band. With Kyle still attending high school in Meadville, Fred, Keith, and Jon attended college for their freshman year in separate schools in Western Pennsylvania. This distance failed to extinguish the band's commitment to their music or their passion for performing. In the summer of 2000, The Twirpentines recorded the song, Eighteen Years at Mud Hut Studios in Sharon Pennsylvania. This song was then submitted to Ernie Ball's Battle of the Bands Contest. The Twirpentines beat over 50 other submissions to the contest, to become one of six bands to play the Vans Warped Tour in Pittsburgh, PA. With literally thousands of people in attendance at this concert, this was the largest concert the band has played, and was also considered to be a great accomplishment by the band members and their fans. By the end of that summer, The Twirpentines came in 12th place out of 400 bands nationwide. The Twirpentines' next project was their full-length 19-song cd entitled "leaving never far behind". The Twirpentines decided to once again record at Mud Hut Studios for the full length where they spent two days in the studio. The first day, the band laid down the music for all 19 tracks in 7 hours due to a tight budget. They then returned the very next day to add the vocal tracks and mix and master the cd in another 7-hour day. After only two days of recording, the entire "leaving never far behind" cd was completed. The Twirpentines then spent their entire Christmas break doing the artwork and layout for the new cd at Fred's house. After three weeks, the layout was completed and then sent to be pressed at "i love imprint" in Florida. On February 15th, 2001 The Twirpentines received the cd's and were more than satisfied with the end result of their late-late nights of hard work In late May and early June of 2001, the bands first tour became a reality starting in Pittsburgh and continuing through Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, including the cities of Chicago, Columbus, Charleston and Detroit. Now the band is touring to promote their newest release Goodnight, Porchlight. The newest CD is loaded with 13 catchy/edgy songs, which celebrates and discusses the hardships and the good times that pass us by in life. The tour will also feature the band Coming Clean. This tour will span many states. With over 50 songs and hundreds of shows played in the last few years the band has, through difficult circumstances and against impossible odds, continued to amaze crowds throughout Eastern United States. with energetic performances, hard-hitting songs, and a good-natured stage presence.
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